Might I inquire?

Is N=2 large?queried  Kitano, Yamada and Yamazaki in their paper title. Exactly five months later, they co-wrote with Matsudo a paper titled “N=2 is large“, proving that their question was, after all, rhetorical. 

Papers ask the darndest things. Collected below are titular posers from the field’s literature that keep us up at night. 

Image: Rahmat Dwi Kahyo, Noun Project.


Who you gonna call?

Who is afraid of quadratic divergences?
Who is afraid of CPT violations?


How big are penguins?

How bright is the proton?
How brightly does the glasma shine?
How bright can the brightest neutrino source be?

How stable is the photon?
(Abstract: “Yes, the photon.”)

How heavy is the cold photon?

How good is the Villain approximation?
How light is dark?

How many solar neutrino experiments are wrong?
How many thoughts are there?

How would a kilonova look on camera?
How does a collapsing star look?

How much information is in a jet?

How fast can a black hole eat?

How straight is the Linac and how much does it vibrate?
How do we build Bjorken’s 1000 TeV machine?

How black is a constituent quark?

How neutral are atoms?

How long does hydrogen live?

How does a pseudoscalar glueball come unglued?

How warm is too warm?

How degenerate can we be?

How the heck is it possible that a system emitting only a dozen particles can be described by fluid dynamics?


How I spent my summer vacation


Why is \  F^2_\pi \gamma_{\rho \pi \pi^2}/m^2_\rho \cong 0?

Why trust a theory?

Why be natural?

Why do things fall?

Why do we flush gas in gaseous detectors?

Why continue with nuclear physics?

What and why are Siberian snakes?

Why does the proton beam have a hole?

Why are physicists going underground?

Why unify?

Why do nucleons behave like nucleons inside nuclei and not like peas in a meson soup?

Why i?


The best why

Why I would be very sad if a Higgs boson were discovered

Why the proton is getting bigger

Why I think that dark matter has large self-interactions

Why Nature appears to ‘read books on free field theory’

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Nirmal Raj is a postdoc at TRIUMF National Lab whose research is centered beyond the Standard Model, mostly on dark matter and new physics at the electroweak scale, and occasionally within the Standard Model in the form of supernova neutrinos. His favorite things include neutron stars, underground experiments, and particle colliders. Also, cryptic crosswords, writing short stories, and hiking in the Pacific Northwest.

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